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DPChallenge Forums >> Side Challenges and Tournaments >> Film Swap Spring (!)
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01/27/2011 10:09:30 PM · #1
Film Swap. Collaborative Double Exposure. An exercise in serendipity. Here's how it works:
- Buy and shoot a roll of film.
- Send it to a partner.
- Partner shoots images over the same roll of film and develops it.

What you get are some very good and very bad double exposures. Think of it as a long distance GTG.

If you're still interested, read on. There are some technical considerations. Both partners have to underexpose the film by about a stop. This means changing a single camera setting or just buying slower film than you normally shoot. No problem. Film is forgiving when it comes to exposure. If you ignore this step entirely, you'll probably still get usable results.

Also, the first partner needs to take care not to rewind the film fully -- i.e. take in the leader. Otherwise, the second partner can't load it into their own camera. (If this happens, there are ways to deal with it. Also, there are some preventive techniques. More on this later.)

This is a film only side challenge. Let's start now establishing partnerships. Partner One should pay for the film and the shipping to Partner Two; Partner Two should pay for the developing and scans and post the images. I figure it will take several weeks for folks to buy film, find cameras, shoot, ship, develop, etc., so let's target the First Day of Spring to see the first images.

What I'm hoping is that some of you who have never worked with film will take this opportunity. In spite of what you may have heard, it's still possible to buy and develop film at places you already frequent. A roll of film costs a couple dollars. To get it developed and have the images scanned to a CD (no prints) costs less than five dollars in most places. Need a camera? Your local Goodwill or thrift store probably has a dozen or more for under five dollars.

So who's in? Sign up as partners or individually...

Film Swap group on Flickr (to give you an idea)

---

Confirmed Partnerships:
21.gif bspurgeon / 21.gif bvy - pinhole paper negatives, Holga
21.gif bspurgeon / 21.gif Yo_Spiff - 35mm, portrait/landscape, one each BW/color
21.gif tph1 / 21.gif ubique - 120, 6x6
21.gif JamesA / 21.gif bspurgeon - two rolls 120 with RB67
21.gif JamesA / 21.gif tph1 - two rolls, 35mm
21.gif JamesA / 21_F.gif salmiakki - A day in the life of - HP5 (b/w), 35mm
21.gif bspurgeon / 21_F.gif salmiakki
31.gif paynekj / 21.gif JamesA - 127 film (!)
21.gif VitaminB / 21.gif MelonMusketeer - 35mm

Tentative (waiting for confirmation):
21_F.gif jomari / 21_N.gif bergiekat
21.gif Eagle40Fox2 / 21.gif spiritualspatula
21.gif bvy / 21_F.gif tnun - 120?


Message edited by author 2011-02-19 18:24:24.
01/27/2011 10:13:29 PM · #2
Sound fun. Sign me up.

I have a flatbed with a film scanner, which might make me good to be the second in a pair.
01/27/2011 10:23:26 PM · #3
Out of curiosity, what sort of "success" rate is typical?
Also, are there any particular types of scenes that would work better for this?
I shot some film when I was way younger, but it was all auto and I know next to nothing about all this. I do, however, have a decent Pentax that I could use for this, so I'm quite intrigued.
01/27/2011 10:24:29 PM · #4
Definitely count me in. I can do 35mm or 120.
01/27/2011 10:32:17 PM · #5
Only 35mm over here. I do have a 70's vintage Yashica I've been wanting to try out, but I need to obtain an obsolete battery for it. Ebay is my friend.
01/27/2011 10:54:23 PM · #6
Steve, how about some portraits of those old timers you often post? Might be interesting to combine that with some California landscapes.

Depending on how many folks sign up, I'm up for multiple rolls. Results will vary based on the pairing.

01/27/2011 11:06:32 PM · #7
Originally posted by bspurgeon:

Steve, how about some portraits of those old timers you often post? Might be interesting to combine that with some California landscapes.

That could be interesting. Especially if I mix the old timers up with some longhorn steers.
01/27/2011 11:30:10 PM · #8
It may be a good idea to make sure that the film is not cut after it is developed, because it's very unlikely that the frames will register correctly. The spacing will be different on the second camera, so the images will overlap the bar that single exposing leaves between frames. They would not know where to cut it, so the good parts may get ruined if they try to cut it to fit into sleeves. It probably would not be possible for them to put it on disc for the same reason.
You can ask that they give it back to you dried and rolled into a film can or rolled with a rubber band around the roll.

Does anyone know of a way that the frames can be made to register. My thought would be to leave the back first camera open until the film is advanced to the first frame, and mark the leading edge of the frame on the back of the film with a "Sharpie", so that the 2nd user could line it up, using that mark and the same technique, restarting the film until the mark lines up right, then closing the back and shooing.

Message edited by author 2011-01-27 23:35:59.
01/28/2011 02:27:54 AM · #9
Steve, I sent you a PM.

Brian, what do you think about swapping oatmeal box images?

01/28/2011 02:28:34 AM · #10
Originally posted by MelonMusketeer:

It may be a good idea to make sure that the film is not cut after it is developed, because it's very unlikely that the frames will register correctly.


Good point. The second person will need to do the scanning.
01/28/2011 03:01:26 AM · #11
OK this sounds like good fun, but I think I live too far away for this to be doable. The mail takes far too long :(

Wonder if 31.gif Mephisto is up for this? He's a bit nearer to me, but I'd hate to ruin his beautiful work by adding my snapshots on top!
01/28/2011 04:29:38 AM · #12
I am all for this! I have a Nikon N65 that I can finally use(might be for sale if anyone is interested?)
01/28/2011 09:04:39 AM · #13
Sounds like great fun! I am in. 35 or 120mm format. I can develop b&w or color at home and/or provide film... Tom
01/28/2011 09:06:51 AM · #14
Originally posted by salmiakki:

OK this sounds like good fun, but I think I live too far away for this to be doable. The mail takes far too long :(

Wonder if 31.gif Mephisto is up for this? He's a bit nearer to me, but I'd hate to ruin his beautiful work by adding my snapshots on top!


Oh... would it take more than a couple of weeks to mail to the states?
01/28/2011 09:31:48 AM · #15
Originally posted by tph1:

Originally posted by salmiakki:

OK this sounds like good fun, but I think I live too far away for this to be doable. The mail takes far too long :(

Wonder if 31.gif Mephisto is up for this? He's a bit nearer to me, but I'd hate to ruin his beautiful work by adding my snapshots on top!


Oh... would it take more than a couple of weeks to mail to the states?

Well my last package which was a calendar took nearly 5 weeks. Chances are that could have been a one off though. I could give it a go though. Probably wouldn't matter anyway:)
01/28/2011 09:59:49 AM · #16
I don't know if I've missed a couple of boats here, and films are now isued as standard with all sorts of electronic info to communicate with the camera, but -
In the days when I had a 35mm camera, the film could be loaded plus or minus an inch on the leader, so that the position of the frames on the roll would likely vary.

On one occasion when I deliberately double exposed a roll, I carefully marked it on the initial loading.

Maybe snapper #1 should send a little digital snap of that to the next victim?
01/28/2011 05:36:00 PM · #17
Some good initial feedback. Great!

Let me try to address everything that's come up...

- Yes, state your film preference: 35mm, 120 (medium format), black and white, etc.

- Also, state if you have a preference to be the first or second partner.

- I won't be assigning partners. PM amongst yourselves. If you need a partner, I'll keep a "free agent" list updated.

- Self scanning may or may not be required. Most places will scan your images to a CD for a few dollars, but if the frames are all over the place, you might want to (re)scan them yourself.

- Someone mentioned cutting the negative. Yes! Important! I do this for everything I get developed. Simply write "DO NOT CUT NEGATIVE" in big bold letters on the processing envelope. If a lab technician is nearby, perhaps reiterate it to them personally.

- Success rate? Frames may overlap. That's part of the serendipity. Of course, partners can take measures to prevent this (as much as possible). Marking the leader is a good idea.

Sarah, even if the film takes a month to get to you, I think this still allows you ample time to participate. I expect images to trickle in for a while, which is why I labeled the side challenge with a season, not just a month. (Plus, Film Swap Spring just sounded cool.)

raish and Melon -- are you guys in, or just participating in the discussion?

Ben, yes! Let's do some East meets West (Coast) double oatmeal exposing. PM me.
01/29/2011 03:50:34 AM · #18
35mm

first

need partner
01/29/2011 06:43:13 AM · #19
just talking ...
01/29/2011 10:18:00 AM · #20
I have been thinking about getting a scanner to scan my old 35mm negs, so this may be what I need to push me a little in that direction.
There are a few old film cams in my collection, all 35mm. I will shoot a roll of film with the one that I plan to use to make sure that there are no light leaks, and that the metering is working. It would be disappointing if one of the two cameras used for this challenge has a serious functionality problem.
If one of my old cams checks out ok, then I will be in.

ETA, Are we going to be talking about what kinds of subjects we are shooting, by pm, or in the thread? On one hand, total surprises would be interesting, and on the other, an attempt to plan a little about the subjects might be fun. If one shooter shoots simple subjects for backgrounds and the other shoots portraits for instance, it may create some very cool double exposures.
With some planning, the first shooter could shoot BG the 1st half roll, and portraits or centered subjects the 2nd half roll, and the second shooter do the opposite.

Message edited by author 2011-01-29 10:25:31.
01/29/2011 11:28:46 AM · #21
I'm in 135/120 :)
01/29/2011 01:25:39 PM · #22
You bring up a good point, MM; there are several ways to go about this. Some ideas:
- Total Serendipity - Partners share nothing about what their shooting.
- Scene and Overlay - One partner shoots a scene, the other shoots a textured overlay (e.g. a cathedral overlaid with a concrete wall)
- Same Subjects - Both partners shoot similar things (e.g. partners from different cities shoot their skylines)
- Left/Right - One partner places the subject on the left side of the frame, the other on the right (fun to do with portraits or buildings)
- Subject and Background - One partner shoots a dominant subject, the other shoots a background.

Really the possibilities are endless.

I would say once you find a partner, a lot of the planning should take place offline. Of course, once you and your partner have a plan, feel free to share it here, and I'll put it in the list. Or you could surprise us too...

Message edited by author 2011-01-29 13:27:28.
01/29/2011 01:32:53 PM · #23
Steve and I are going to portrait/landscape. I believe one BW/one color. 35mm

01/29/2011 01:38:12 PM · #24
This is altogether too exciting ...
I'm thinking, I'm thinking. Have both 35 mm and 120.
01/29/2011 04:00:17 PM · #25
I'm in to participate. I would have to use 35, that's all I've got. I would also need a decent amount of handholding and would have to be first shooter as a result of that, but would like to take part.
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